Read this post in: French
Organizations are facing today the most challenging conditions of their history. Turbulent times in economy, geopolitical threats, environmental and societal issues, are setting the stage for what might be the biggest changes since the industrial revolution in the early XIXth century.
At the same time, the rabid evolution of technology allows everyone to connect to everyone and to share information and knowledge with no other limit than the speed of light, creating a full spectrum of new opportunities (as well as, let’s face it, threats) for businesses.
State of the art
But the collaborative enterprise, as an organizational model as well as an operational framework, is still in its infancy. Many of the tools we will use in ten years from now and that will shape our behaviors, in the workplace as well as in our personal life, still do not exist. In this context, trends & buzzwords are over saturating the infosphere. It is often hard to know which trend is authentic, has a potential for business and if it is actionable or not.
It might be time to ask ourselves whether all the noise about Enterprise 2.0, collaboration, social business and so forth were true business opportunities for a company leveraging the different aspects of heralded approaches, or if they were an empty shell resulting from the literature published by the prolific minds of so-called gurus and agile marketers (consulting firms and platform vendors are becoming incredibly clever into packaging their offer) looking for new markets on which to sell both software and methodologies. In other words: Is the collaborative enterprise real or just a concept to justify massive investments in various business fields & applications?
To try better envisioning what will come next, and to better understand the challenges and opportunities rose by the disruptive changes involved today, Frédéric Gilbert and myself are launching the Future of the Collaborative Enterprise project, task which kept me away from blogging for some time.
While surveys and white papers usually depict the state of the art in a domain, what we want to do is sketching possible (probable?) scenarios about what the future of work will look like. What could it look like? How can a company embrace the potential of collaboration? And what are the different challenges that we are facing to make it effective on large scale? Can it work for everyone and how? Asking these questions we think will allow acting, anticipating & using the potentials of collaborative initiatives.
To get actionable clues, we are interviewing experts and thought leaders from many disciplines around the world, asking them to react on a set of ten questions framing the main aspects of collaboration: organizational structure, change, technology, and information While many more are on the go, you can see who we already interviewed on the project’s website.
Get involved and help us make it happen
Next step is, through design thinking and future thinking methods, to extract patterns and build plausible future scenarios from the gathered material, and then to further challenge thought leaders on societal, cultural and organizational topics in their knowledge and foresight.
Frederic and I, think that it takes more than words & methods to make things happen, and we emphasize on the importance of people and of the authentic will required to make the workplace a better place to be in order to bring this positive energy to our homes.
Harnessing the collective intelligence is an intrinsic part of the Future of Collaborative Enterprise project. All interviews will be published on the project’s Youtube channel and website as they are conducted and transcript, and all material will be published under a Creative Commons license. We have published the very same set of questions we asked all interviewees onto Quora, and will watch this space for the most insightful answers. You can add your vision there, or send short videos of your answers through the Future of Collaborative Enterprise website’s contact page.
We have also created a Facebook page dedicated to the project, to help you follow its developments, additions and conversations. The more material we will get, the more we will be able to set up the grounds for a truly collaborative enterprise, and to build up an actionable framework to help businesses which want to undergo the path to more value co-creation.
Whether you are consultant, software vendor, business leader, academic researcher or simply want to add your voice to our project, we’re looking forward to understanding the Future of Collaborative Enterprise with you!